Jack Butland to start in goal for England against Lithuania

Are England fans growing restless? (0:57)

Mark Ogden discusses the frustration of England fans as they watched their team's performance against Slovenia at Wembley. (0:57)

Jack Butland will start in goal for England in their final World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

Manager Gareth Southgate announced his decision on Saturday, a day ahead of the game.

Butland replaces Joe Hart, England's regular first-choice goalkeeper, for the last match of England's campaign.

England have made sure of their place at the Russia 2018 finals, taking the pressure off the trip to Lithuania and giving Southgate the opportunity to make changes.

Southgate said of Stoke No. 1 Butland: "He has been patient for his opportunity, his form has been good. It's a good opportunity for Jack."

Butland may not be the only change to the team that beat Slovenia 1-0 to book England's place at the World Cup.

"For sure we'll make changes but want to get the balance right," Southgate added. "It is a results business but the way I want to play is to entertain as well. This is a game where we want to give a strong performance and win.

"We were very clear in our mind how we wanted to evolve and we've got an extra game to do that now, which is a great opportunity to look at a couple of things.

"Everyone was disappointed with the performance [against Slovenia], none more so than me. We want to learn from the game and don't want to waste that opportunity."

Harry Maguire, Michael Keane, Harry Winks, Kieran Trippier and Jesse Lingard are among those keen for a chance to impress but Southgate would only guarantee Butland a starting spot.

The 24-year-old has made only one appearance for his country since suffering a stress fracture of the ankle in his previous start in Germany nearly 18 months ago.

That was the beginning of a long spell on the sidelines, but he is now back at peak condition and pressing Hart hard.

"I've said all along there's great competition for places," Southgate said. "I think Joe's performance the other night was excellent, not only did he make important saves but also his decision making and distribution. His management of the game was excellent.

"Clearly we have also got other good goalkeepers in the squad and this is a great opportunity for Jack to play. He's been patient for his opportunity and his form is good.

"Jack was my captain at under-21 level. He's an outstanding personality, a strong leader, so why don't we use those qualities?"

Butland is confident and unapologetic about his designs on Hart's spot but insists the battle is all well-intentioned.

"We're all after the same shirt but we're keen to push each other to a high standard because that means success for us as a nation," he said.

"We have brilliant rivalry but a great friendship too. It's been a long process getting back fit and I finally feel like I'm back where I was, playing consistently and back in the England set-up."

England's midfield has drawn particular scrutiny in the days since Slovenia, with Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson seemingly unable to provide the spark to break down a side with limited attacking ambition.

Dele Alli's return from suspension adds a touch of the unpredictable to the mix but Southgate warned the diminshing number of homegrown players in the Premier League is having a direct impact on the quality at his disposal.

"We have a league where every week 70 English players play. When I was playing it was probably the best part of 150,'' he said,

"We have a problem in terms of opportunities for young players full stop. The players we're selecting we believe are the best in the country. The desire is for the country to get behind them. They need support and backing ... they're not there yet. They're not where everybody else wants them to be.''

Asked to ponder where the heirs to Paul Gasgoigne, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were, he added: "Those names came in at 18 or 19 but were surrounded by loads of senior players who'd won lots of things.

"Our average age, around 25, is one of the youngest of the big teams around Europe. These guys are having to learn together. It's a steep learning curve and the environment is a tough one but we've got to get used to it and be strong enough mentally to get used to it."